A student of Architecture from Kwara State Polytechnic, Arowolo Adetola, has won the maiden edition of the Brush Online Cartoon Competition for students in tertiary and secondary schools in Nigeria, beating Obinwanne Joy, an SS3 female student of Mountain Top Secondary School, Onike Yaba, Lagos, and Olusanwo Isaac, an Engineering student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, to second and third positions respectively.
While the first place winner went home with N150, 000, the second and third place winners went home with N100, 000 and N50, 000 respectively. The competition was organised by the Brush Cartoon and Animation Centre Ltd, Lagos, as part of efforts to promote the cartoon profession in Nigeria, with the theme, “The Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic in the Society.”
Presenting prizes to the winners in Lagos recently, the CEO of The Brush Cartoon and Animation Centre, Albert Ohams, attributed the success of the project to determination: “I was determined to follow it through. I didn’t have the resources, and, looking at the business climate, which nosedived because of COVID-19 pandemic, this could not have been possible,” adding, he was grateful to his former employer at Ikebe Super magazine, Wale Adenuga, and founder of WAPTV, for giving him free promotional slots.
Ohams, however, assured that the competition would be an annual event. Judges for this year included the President of the Cartoonists Association of Nigeria (CARTAN) Mr. Mike Asuquo; a lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Dr Ganiyu Jimga; and a medical doctor with vast interest in cartooning, Bobby Iwe.
A sculptor and cartoonist with the Businessday newspaper, Mike Asuquo, told Daily Sun: When the originators of the completion told me about it, I was happy, because it seems we are the only profession that is missing in this kind of competition. I studied fine art at the Yaba College of Technology and majored in sculpture. I must say that every kobo my parents spent, I got it back in the form of awards, scholarships and contracts. In Art, you can always prove yourself if you are a good artist.”
On the story behind his winning entry, Arowolo Adetola, an ND 2 student, said. “During the lockdown, we heard of armed robbers almost overrunning the country. We stayed awake all night, and slept in the afternoon. I reflected the scenario in my work. It was a painting on COVID-19 and its impact on us. I submitted my entry on the last day, but was optimistic of winning and using the money to buy a laptop. I’m excited my dream of owning a system is now a reality.”
Mrs. Joy Obinwanne, a teacher and mother of Miss Obinwanne Deborah, 2nd place winner of the contest, said: “Coincidentally, my daughter and I love art. If you visit our home, you will see different collections of art and designs. She has cartoons she used to beautify our habitat. We are prepared to support her interest in art up to university level.”